Dana Petroleum has been awarded a production sharing contract (PSC) by the Government of Cameroon for the Bakassi West block, situated in the Rio Del Rey basin.

The company will now have a 55% stake in the shallow water exploration acreage, while other partners Madison Cameroon Oil and Gas and SoftRock Oil and Gas will own 35% and ten percent equity interests respectively.

""Across Dana we’ll invest more than $5bn over the next five years to more than double the size of the company.""

Bakassi West covers an area of 390 square kilometres and is located on the border of Nigeria on the southern margin of the Niger Delta.

John Downey, Dana Petroleum director of International Exploration and New Ventures, said the company will begin its work programme immediately with data gathering and geological studies.

"We will conduct a seismic acquisition programme in 2013 and 2014, and expect to drill our first well by 2015," said Downey.

"Across Dana we’ll invest more than $5bn over the next five years to more than double the size of the company."

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"At the same time we’re focused on creating exploration opportunities by gaining access to new countries and provinces, and using our technical expertise to identify reserves for the future. Our entry into Cameroon is an important step on this journey."

The $31m, four year initial exploration work programme will involve acquisition, processing and interpretation of 250km of 2D seismic data, along with the drilling of two exploration wells.

The second well will be drilled based on the result of the first and the programme could be extended to two further periods of two years each.

Dana Petroleum will undertake acquisition and processing of 100km of 2D seismic data and the drilling of one exploration well per period; overall investment for all three periods is $71m.